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tv   Anderson Cooper 360  CNN  January 24, 2011 10:00pm-12:00am EST

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>> i've always believed, piers, the scripture shows it's a sin. i'm not one that's out there to bash homosexuals and tell them they're terrible people and all that. i think sometimes the church -- we focus on one issue or two issues and there's plenty of other ones. i don't believe that homosexuality is god's best for a person's life. >> here's my colleague anderson cooper with "ac 360." >> piers, thanks very much. good evening, again, welcome to 360, everyone. the congresswoman will be on national television tomorrow night or online responding to president obama's state of the union message. she's flunking the history she reveers. michele bachmann speak out about the nation's founding but getting her facts wrong. new evidence in the case of that michigan public official
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pursuing a private vendetta against a gay college student. results of an official investigation are in, and they are startling. what we have learned about him today. the alleged tucson shooter in court today facing charges with a smile. a smile? we'll tell you what was behind the grin of this alleged mass murderer and update you on the condition of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. we begin as always, keeping them honest. comments that are either a deliberate rewriting of our history or signs that michele bachmann has a shaky grasp on our history. why does this matter? is it just an attack on a controversial lawmaker? we don't think so. lots of lawmakers probably don't know all they should about american history, tv show anchors as well. michele bachmann is repeatedly
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changing the history of the constitution. what she says matters, because people do listen to her, we think facts matter, particularly when it's facts about our founding as a nation. speaking to a group called iowaens for tax relief, congressman bachman seemed to whitewash over our painful history of slavery. she air brushed herself some new history. here she is talking about what people have faced throughout history when coming to america. >> it didn't matter the color of their skin. it didn't matter their language, it didn't matter their economic status. it didn't matter whether they descended from know billetty or are of a higher class or a lower class. it made no difference, once you got here, we were all the same. >> as much as we wish that were the case, that's simply not true. whether she was talking about the founding of our nation or the experience of immigrants throughout our history that were not treated the same. irish immigrants didn't feel the
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same, japanese americans didn't feel the same when they were placed in internment camps. and enslaved africans didn't feel the same when they were brought here against their will. she mentioned slavery, but only to say it was something the founding fathers couldn't wait to get rid of. >> we know that was slavery that was still tolerated when the nation began. we know that was an evil and a block and a stain upon our history. but we also know that the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the united states. and i think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forebearers who worked tirelessly, men like john quincy adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country. >> again, congresswoman bachman has her facts wrong, many of the
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founders owned slaves, george washington, thomas jefferson who wrote all men are created equal owned slaves. jefferson was conflicted about it, but others were not. the constitution itself establishes slaves as 3/5 of a person, a political compromise. as for john quincy adams, ms. bachman is right, he was a tireless campaigner against slavery. but he was not a founding father as she implied. this is not the first time she's gotten the facts wrong or invented her own facts. just recently on 360, she claimed president obama's trip to asia would cost $200 million a day. we proved how that was unfounded. plenty of other examples, we focus on this tonight, not just because she's going to be speak tomorrow night, but because we believe facts matter, particularly where our history is concerned. one of the many things that makes this country great is we are able to examine our best, we are at our best when we learn
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from the past. rewriting history doesn't do anyone any good. it doesn't honor our history. we invited congresswoman bachman on the program tonight. she denied. we're joined by susan malinari, paul begala and eddie glaw, jr. from princeton university. professor, what do you make of her comments. is this a whitewashing of history? >> in part i think it is. what it suggests is that she lacks a little nuance to put it gently. we do know that there was debate among the founding fathers about slavery. some opposed outright, others were indif rent. what happened as a result of the debate wasn't resolution, but as you mentioned at the top of the piece was compromise. the 3/5 compromise and also the
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fugitive slave clause, which allowed slave owners to retrieve their escaped property. what i think she would have been better equipped to do is appeal to a different tradition, a tradition of americans who sought to correct the contradictions around our democratic prince peoples evident in our practice. that is the ap listist movement in the 1830s, frederick douglass, those who laid down their lives in interesting sorts of ways. i have a strange suspicion that michele bachmann would label them unamerican or terrorists. >> does this matter? commends like this, does it mat summer. >> it's a good news/bad news thing. there are some in her party who will appreciate this. maybe she can win the republican nomination. bad news,probably can't win, who's smarter than a fifth grader.
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she is running at a fringe. you know, her party has a lot of terribly bright people, we just saw rudy giuliani, interviewed by piers morgan. there's a fringe of her party who wants to go back to the days of the no nothings. they were bitterly prejudiced about catholics, jews, african-americans, and almost anyone else they could think of. i'm not saying that's what she is, i'm saying there's a strain in her party that says, i've got my mind made up, don't confuse me with the facts. >> michele bachmann is one area of the republican party. there's many great wonderful spokespeople for the republican party. i think what michele bachmann was trying to say was to look more positively toward our history, and the history of the united states. i don't think she meant anything negative about it. i don't quite understand why it's such a big deal right now, when i thought we were here to discuss the state of the union
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speech. but i guess we decided to change our mind. i'm not really quite prepared to discuss why she said what she said or what it's impact was. that's not what i thought we were going to discuss this evening. >> why do you think she's decided to make her own response to the state of the union speech. >> i'm not really sure why she decided to make her own state of the union speech. she's always been active, a vocal spokesperson for her beliefs and the tea party, clearly as you know, paul ryan, the new chairman of the budget committee, and someone who is considered very conservative, and very proactive, when it comes to reducing the deficit. now pledges to be in the minority as the spokesperson chosen by the republican party and the republican party leadership, in terms of cutting spending, reducing the deficit and restoring fiscal discipline to our nation. >> does it make sense for michele bachmann to have her own response out there? >> for ms. bachman, honestly, i
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know i was making fun of her before. i think it's helpful for her, but i don't think it's helpful for the republican party for the reasons susan states. and maybe not so much for the democrats. we go for the glittery sharp object out there, and forget it's a fishing lure and we get hooked. we get distracted by michele bachmann when we should be focusing on paul ryan. he has a budget that would privatize social security, turn medicare into a voucher program. cut taxes on the rich, and raise taxes on everybody between 20,000 a year. it hammers the middle class, creams the poor and helps the rich. michele bachmann is a little more colorful -- >> probably what we should be talking about is what the president of the united states plans to do to reduce the deficit. i think that's probably the discussion that the american people want to hear, and are
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anxious to see the solutions that the president of the united states is going to put forward in order to change the direction of the nation. >> what do you want to hear from the president? >> jobs, jobs, jobs. let me tell you, i know -- i'll have to be covering it and analyzing it for cnn, so i can't do it. but i want a drinking game where every time he says the word jobs i get to take a drink. george bush had an initiative for competitiveness for his state of the union in 2006 and it didn't do us any good. i've never seen the country more focused on one need, and that is jobs. and if he's dancing around either with euphemisms like american competitiveness or ignoring jobs, which i can't imagine -- i think that's where he needs to be, i'm going to talk about the future, and i'm going to talk about jobs. and we'll let ms. bachman talk about the past and mr. ryan talk
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about privatizing social security. >> i think there's a difference between the two political parties that we're going to have a year-long discussion on, how do we get to those jobs. there is a great divide in the nation right now, between those who want to cut the deficit and reduce the debt, in order to make us more competitive. those who want to create government investments in order to create those jobs, and i think that is going to be the defining difference between the two political parties we have moving forward. >> we have to leave it there. let us know in the live chat what you think. coming up next, remember that assistant attorney general in michigan fired for harassing and attacking online a gay college student? he's been fired already, but startling new information about what his boss really knew. and new information that says he wasn't telling the truth when he appeared on this program. we're keeping them honest. jared lee loughner smiling in court today, laughing to himself, we're told. he entered his plea on murder charges. disturbing reports on his
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new information tonight in a story we've been keeping them honest on from the beginning. information confirming our reporting that a public law enforcement official was conducting a private vendetta and more. he was doing it in part on taxpayer time, not just exercising his first amendment rights as he and his boss contended at the time. we're talking about andrew shervol. he was a michigan state assistant attorney general. he was fired over his fixation on a gay college student. chris armstrong had a radical homosexual agenda and created an
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entire blog on line attacking the guy, making up all sorts of lies about him, allegations, unfounded stories. this is a screen shot of one blog posting, it has a picture of the student with a nazi insignia in the rainbow flag with the word resign. he calls the college students a nazi-like recruiter for the cult that is homosexuality. he even called him satan's representative on the student assembly. that's a quote. in addition, he's shouted down armstrong in public and appeared outside his home at 1:30 in the morning videotaping and then called the police. since then he's been fired. his boss has been superseded as attorney general. tonight we got a handle on the attorney general's position on the whole affair.
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>> i gotta ask you, you're a state official. this is a college student. what are you doing? >> well, anderson basically, if you've been involved in political campaigns before, you know all sorts of stuff happens, this is just another attack bringing attention to what chris stands for. >> this is a guy who's running a stund counsel? >> well, as a private citizen and as a university of michigan alum i care, because this is my university. i wasn't the only person to criticize chris. in fact, long before i started the blog a couple weeks before that, the alliance defense fund a well-known christian foundation put out an alert about chris. so i'm not the only person that has criticized chris, and i'm not the first person to criticize chris. >> you are the only person running this blog which is
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putting nazi swastikas on this guy. you're a grown adult. does that seem appropriate to you. >> like i said this is a political campaign. this is nothing personal against chris. >> what do you mean it's nothing personal. >> i don't know chris -- >> you're videotaping outside his house, you're shouting him down at public events. you're calling him satan's representative on the student counsel. you're attacking his parents, his friends parents. you can't say it's not personal. >> chris, in any political campaign, have you to raise awareness and issues, that's one way of doing it is by protesting. >> it was bizarre to say the least. i should mention, mr. shirvell is not running for anything, nor is chris armstrong. he's already student body president. when we had mr. shirvell's boss on the show, he downplayed any
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problems. >> he does his job well from 8:30 to 5:00 very well. him blogging is not impacting the mission of the office. here in america, we have this thing called the first amendment, which allows people to express what they think. and engage in political and social speech. >> so that's the backdrop, shirvell thinks he's exercising his right to enter political fray, even though his actions which got him barred from the university campus seem more like harassment. his boss is saying there's nothing he can do because of the first amendment. shirvell verbally assaulted a supervisor at work, violated policy, and properly contacted a student's employer, engaged in a reckless conduct and refused to alter it and more. shirvell used state resources to make some of these poisonous postings on his blog and facebook and misled
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investigators. we do not believe that assistant attorney general shirvell was being truthful on this issue. he was not telling the truth when he told us he was merely protesting, when he was videotaping outsidearm strong's house at 1:30 in the morning. we wanted to invite shirvell back on 360, but neither he nor his lawyer returned our calls. we spoke with his former boss who told us supervisors did not report on shirvell's harassment. he had nothing more to say and would not be issuing a statement on it. debra, mike cox says he didn't know about all these past incidents involving shirvell until after the fact. does that make any sense to you given their findings in this report zm. >> no, it makes no sense at all. if you look at this guy, he has a lengthy history, even
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predating his time with the attorney general's office. andrew shirvell was arrested for assault and battery in 2001 for spitting on two people. he has a history of going after log cabin republicans with despicable disgusting e-mails, he had a drunk driving conviction. now let's fast forward to the time he gets to the attorney general's office. it's clear that he spent a great deal time at work stalking chris armstrong and others. creating his ugly hate speech that he sent around. moreover, as you mentioned a moment ago, he was involved in apparently a horrible meltdown in august of 2010, so much so that a couple of the legal secretaries were terrified and put it in writing that they've never seen such conduct in all their time with the office. >> given all what you said, it seems hard to believe that the attorney general would come on this program and say well all of this is new information to me, i
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didn't know about any of this, and he hasn't had prior problems, essentially? >> it seems extremely odd. i'm not saying, perhaps he came on here without checking, i suppose that's remotely possible. it doesn't seem logical, i don't know. i do know that his investigators did a heck of a job investigating this guy now. we do have the total picture i believe. having said that, no, he had a trail at the attorney general's office. he was up on facebook obviously very public place to be with hate speech early in 2010 leading right up to the time of your show, the blog was up there. the first amendment has been thrown around a lot in this case and it's really offensive. they're hiding behind the first amendment. this is not first amendment protected speech. >> it's pretty shocking it seems what it took to get fire from the attorney general's office in the state of michigan. >> right. and the backdrop we haven't mentioned so far, shirvell was a campaign volunteer for mike cox,
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the -- not a volunteer, he was a volunteer and then a paid staffer, the question here is did cox protect shirvell because he was a political ally? i don't know what you can call shirvell's politics, they're too weird to be called anything at all. mike cox is a conservative republican who has not been supportive of gay rights, shirvell obviously has this weird obsession with gay rights. i think the synergy there is the most troubling aspect of it. the question is, was cox protecting shirvell or was he ignorant of all the craziness going on in his office. >> in defense of the attorney general, it's a big office, was it possible he wasn't informed that one of his assistant attorney generals was screaming and threatening a supervisor? >> anything's possible. i used to work in government
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lawyer's offices, that sort of craziness is pretty unusual. and the boss would generally be informed of misconduct of that magnitude. can i say for sure that cox knew? i can't. >> i want to play for you some of what mike cox said in his interview. >> the supreme court, both the united states supreme court in 1995, in a case called the u.s. versus treasury employees said that civil service employees in the federal system and by extension in the state system have free -- first amendment rights outside of work, as long as it doesn't impact their performance at their job. >> and you already referred to that and said you don't buy that. in terms of -- >> i never bought it. i've always thought it was absurd, this is not first amendment speech. it's not about politics, it's not even about homosexuality per se. it's about going after particular individuals in order to try to ruin their lives.
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that's what it's about. that's clearly actionable in civil court. >> are you pursuing legal action against him? i know you're trying to get him disbarred, right? >> yes, we are. >> where does that stand? >> clearly, in my opinion, he should not have a license to practice law. he's running around out of control, i think he's a reckless person. i think he's dangerous to others. he's trying to harm other people's lives, he's got a license and he's used his license to try to get at people. we don't discuss all the ways that he's done that. he needs to get counselling. number two, he could go a long way toward putting this thing back together to some extent by publicly retracting, and i've asked for a retraction, every one of his ridiculous, despicable lies about my client, my client's family and others. >> the stuff he said on his blog was completely unfounded.
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absolutely no proof, and completely offensive to chris armstrong in terms of what -- i'm not going to go into the details about what it said about chris armstrong, but he was clearly making stuff up without any proof. he's never backtracked from any of that, right? >> no. virtually every single entry was made up, created out of the mind of andrew shirvell. >> you want to set the record straight so when people google chris armstrong this doesn't come up? >> either shirvell has to set the record straight by apologizing, or we will have no other choice but to go to the court and take care of it. the record can't stand the way it is. jared lee loughner back in court today, smiling. we'll talk to ted rowlands who
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jared lee loughner smiled in court today, even apparently laughing to himself at one point. he plead guilty on three counts of attempted murder. we want to give you an update on congresswoman giffords. she's still in intensive care, fluid on her brain. can't start rehab until the drain is removed. she's doing exercises in the icu, moving, sitting and
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standing. and she surprised them not needing as much help doing those things as they thought she would. once she's ready to go to rehab from the icu, it's expected to take up to six months. we mentioned loughner in court today. his lawyer's name is judy clark. well respected attorney who has a history of taking on cases that seem untouchable. she took on the unabomber, susan smith, the woman who drowned her own kids in 1994. smith and kaczynski were spared the death penalty, as was eric robert rudolph, the olympic park bomber. joining me live, sunny holsten from our sister network trutv. >> he was smiling when he entered court? >> it was about a 15 minute hearing in total.
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after he sat down at the desk with his attorney, he seemed to chuckle a little bit, and he would look around and grin. once the judge took the bench, he seemed to be more focused and staired straight ahead. he didn't say anything at all during this hearing, unlike the last one. in fact those not guilty pleas you talked about, they were entered by the court at the request of judy clark. clearly setting the table for a possible insanity defense. >> in the courtroom drawing it looks like he has hair. is his hair growing back? >> absolutely. two weeks ago he was bald. his hair is growing back. his arms and legs were shackled. he looked very different than the first time he enter s the courtroom two weeks ago. >> you think this is going to boil down to an insanity defense? >> absolutely.
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>> it doesn't seem -- >> it's very rare that an insanity defense is successful. less than 1%. in less than 1% of the cases the insanity defense is successful. even if she does sort of use this insanity defense? will it be successful? >> even if you have emotional issues, mentally unstable, need couns counselling, it doesn't mean you're insane? >> that's right. the burden is on the defense to prove you were insane and you knew the difference between right and wrong. in this case, he apparently posted on his myspace page before these horrible crimes, saying to his friends i'm sorry, i apologize. that tells me he knew what he was doing wrong. >> what do you make of the attorney? i didn't realize there were national public defenders, sort of roving public defenders? >> that's right. she's often on the other side of the u.s. attorney's office, i
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will say, if you are in a position like this, this is the attorney you want. she's been called a one-woman dream team. she's sort of quiet, she doesn't give interviews, pretty reclusive, those i've spoken to who know her say she's on the top of her game. >> do you think there will be a plea deal? >> i think she's probably trying to get the death penalty off the table. i think the government is going to seek the death penalty in a case like this. that's what she's trying to do right now. get that death penalty off the table and plead guilty to life in prison. >> it's interesting, the judge at this point is the from california, brought in because all the federal judges in arizona recaused themself because of the murder of john roll. is there any sense whether an actual trial would be held in arizona? >> yeah, well, at this point it came up today a little bit in terms of the change in venue, there's an early change. we're in phoenix today, right away, in tucson, every judge in tucson said i'm not going to
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hear his first court appearance. a judge in phoenix heard the first report a couple weeks ago. then he recaused himself. they brought in a judge from san diego starting next hearing scheduled for march 9th, it's going to go back to tucson with this judge on the bench. loughner's attorney said she had no problem with that, going back to tucson, so they're getting closer to the crime scene, not further away. now, when a trial date is set will the defense go for a change in venue motion? absolutely possible. and if that happens, it could leave the state of arizona, possibly going to california or nevada. >> ted, appreciate the reporting. sunny hostin as well. isha sesay is back with a 360 news bulletin. >> at least 35 people were killed in a terrorist attack in moscow. more than 150 were injured. many critically. ramhm emmanuel is fighting o
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keep his name on the chicago elections race. an appeals court ruled former white house chief of staff doesn't meet the residency standard to run for the city's top office. his legal team is questioning a stay that would allow ballots to be printed with emmanuel's name on them. a woman suspected of kidn kidnapping an infant was silent today. she told federal investigators she kidnapped carlina renee white who is now 23 years old after suffering several miscarriages. white was reunited with her biological mother last week. anderson, check out this video, a driver in ontario canada has only a split second to avoid disaster when a truck smashes through a concrete barrier straight into his car. the driver's saying his
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crediting years of playing video games for the split second reflex for his decision. >> i don't understand how he had a camera rolling, but it's amazing he did. >> i want to know how many hours of video games he's been playing, don't you think? >> yeah. does he have the dashcam because it's like a video game? i'm glad no one was seriously hurt. tonight's shot comes from the library of congress where cooper the hawk is on the loose. no relation to me. he's a cooper's hawk. >> presumably. he's been flying around the public reading room for at least five days, he's got to be tired. they don't know how he got in. he's outsmarted attempts to lure him down with foot. experts are now on the case. >> i say they send you over there. you say, he cooper to
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cooper. >> he'll probably peck my eyes out. >> national treasure. >> so peewee herman tells me. don't mess with my mad men, season five is going nowhere fast. frankly, i'm inconsolable about it, we're putting the people responsible on tonight's "ridicu-list." where keith olbermann may show up next, and 9 story on his abrupt departure from msnbc.
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keith olbermann's sudden exit from msnbc caught many viewers by surprise. >> when i resigned from espn 13.5 years ago, i was literally given 30 seconds to say good-bye at the last edition of "sports center." i'm grateful i have more time to sign off. regardless, this is the last edition of "countdown." >> more on why they parted ways and where olbermann may turn up next. >> appreciate both of you being with us, bill. you've been on this from the beginning. you reported that msnbc has been preparing for an exit by olbermann for months. what can you tell us about it? >> the timing was a factor.
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they just decided he brought in new agents -- i think keith had a plan in place. there's going to be another outlet for him as soon as the ending of this contract is settled. he has a period of six, nine months where he won't be able to work on tv. >> for a lot of people who don't follow this as minutely as some do, what wasn't working out? he really defined that network. what wasn't work out? >> i think the cue de gras was his suspension last fall. that was his waterloo, and it was, but in a different sort of way. what seems to be clear is that the relationship he had with management, and not just the management, but his cohorts and people who work for him had become untenable.
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it seems since fall when he was suspended, there was a situation where office politics weren't working and he fell on the wrong side of office politics. >> he sent out tweets today. one of them says my humble thanks to all friends of keith for the kind words. ed reports of the death of my career have been exaggerated. does that mean he's not going to go quietly? >> exactly. anyone who thinks he's going quietly, doesn't know keith olbermann. i think he's sending a signal that he has a plan in place, he's going to come back in some form on the internet, on radio. and i think he'll be on tv again. why wouldn't he? he was very successful. >> i talked to one person who said he believed he wanted to do something like the huffington post, some sort of online presence. do you think that's true? >> yes, i think that's
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definitely true, he's allowed to do that right in a way. nbc won't be able to prevent that. in the longer term, he'll get tv offers, i guarantee. >> with the name recognition he has, the following he has. you could set up a liberal blog that would have a guaranteed audience base. >> there's no question, he's got a very loyal following. and he was very touched and moved by the response he had when he was suspended. 250,000 people signed a petition. it would stand to reason he would see this as an opportunity to build up his own personality and develop his own presence on line. >> both comcast and nbc denied that their merger had anything to do with olbermann's departure. do you buy that? i heard even last summer, from folks in the industry saying comcast is not going to put up with this. >> everybody agreed that comcast would be very unlikely to put up with keith's behavior, let's
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say, and prima donna activities. i think it was their intention that this get settled before they took over. because if this took place six months down the road it would look like a political move, and they didn't want that. they wantsed it to be resolved ahead of time. nbc moved to get that done, they got it done right before comcast took over. >> i don't think it's fair to say comcast was responsible for this. i think as bill said, there's nothing that -- that's exactly what they don't want. i think it's more correct to say that the executives at nbc news are getting new owners, and the rules and standards that applied under nbc universal and ge no longer apply. they didn't want to have one more headache while they're trying to figure out what makes their new bosses tick. >> fascinating stuff. thank you, appreciate it. bill carter, appreciate the
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reporting. thanks, bill. another round in the feud between jay leno and conan o'brien. you may want to grab a martini before you hear the latest edition to the ridicul-list. ♪ to know, know, know you grandma is the bestest. the total package. grandpa's cooooooooool. way cool. ♪ grandpa spoils me rotten. ♪ to know, know, know you ♪ is to love... some people call us frick and frack. we do finger painting. this is how grandpa and i roll. ♪ and i do [ pins fall ] grandma's my best friend. my best friend ever. my best friend ever. ♪ [ laughing ] [ boy laughs ] ♪ to know, know, know you
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following tonight, isha sesay joins us with a 360 news bulletin. >> the dow is closing in on the 12,000 mark, a level it hasn't
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seen in two and a half years. blue chips adding 109 points today. a retrial in the amanda knox trial. amanda knox was convicted in 2009 of killing her roommate in italy. she was sentenced to 26 years in prison but she insists she's not guilty. knox is appealing the conviction. bitter cold to tell you about in new york's east village. a car covered in ice after an apparent water main break. temps 6 degrees below zero this morning. and 35 below in new hampshire. temperatures are expected to warm up tomorrow ahead of another winter storm later in the week. and anderson, jay leno will be honored as hasty pudding's man of the year at harvard university next month. according to the legendary theatrical group, the award is
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given to performers who have made a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment. i'm wondering what harvard alum conan o'brien has to say about this? something along the lines of, he can take his hasty pudding pot and -- >> do you watch "mad men?" >> i'm ashamed to say i don't watch it. i know all about it. >> i should have asked you that before you got this job. >> was that a deal breaker? >> yeah, it could have been. it's all right, i'll give you the dvd's, you can catch up. >> perfect. tonight the "ridicu-list" goes to amc and lion's gate. i love amc, they have another favorite show of mine, breaking bad. amc has promised us a fifth
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season. they promised. the show's creator says he's dying to get back to work, but his contract expired he still doesn't have a deal because the network is working things out with lion's gate which apparently produces the show. come on, already. how long are we going to have to wait for the martini-filled perfection that is "mad men." >> we're getting married. i know it's a surprise, but let's get her in here. >> how exciting for you. >> i know, i can't believe it. >> wow! >> it's been going on a while. >> she's very beautiful. >> you know she reminds me of you? she has the same spark. >> oh, "mad men." matthew weiner said, the truth is, i don't even know what their plans are, he's talking about the companies. we have not started writing, everyone wants a piece of it now, and they're fighting over who's going to get the biggest chunk. it would be heartbreaking for me if they don't work it out. it would be a shame for fans if
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they never get a chance to see what we have coming up. let me go on record here, it would be holding america hostage if this show doesn't come back for a fifth season. the creators are ready to rock, all because the producers and managers can't come to an agreement? "gimme a break" was on for six years. balky was on for eight years. and "married with children" that seems to still be on the air somewhe somewhere. and "the simpsons" still includingi i chugging away just fine. see, "mad men" is everywhere, and it should be.
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specifically it should be on tv soon. some of the blogs are saying we may have to wait until 2012 for a new season. 2012? i cannot wait a whole year to find out if don marries that secretary of his. and what about roger sterling. look, i have a soft spot for skinny gray-haired people. amc, lion's gate, i'm serious, take a cue from snl and just fix it. >> when i come in in the morning it better be fixed. >> how do we go about fixing specifically? >> take it one step at a time. identify the problem, fix it. identify another problem, fix it. repeat as necessary until it's all fixed. >> look, i mean it, amc and lion's gate, fix it. play nice, whatever you have to do just give us back our "mad american."
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a lawmaker who says she venerates the founding fathers but doesn't team to have her facts straight about it. michele bachmann ahead. our points from chase sapphire preferred are worth 25% more on travel. we're like forget florida, we're going on a safari. so we're on the serengeti, and seth finds a really big bone. we're talking huge. they dig it up, put it in the natural history museum and we get to name it. sethasauraus. really. your points from chase sapphire preferred are worth 25% more on travel? means better vacations. that's incredible. believe it...with chase sapphire preferred your points are worth 25% more on travel when booked through ultimate rewards. [ male announcer ] blue-blooded. cold. [ clock ticking ] happy anniversary. [ male announcer ] what happened to luxury? ♪ where did all the personality go? ♪
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good evening, again, welcome to 360, everyone. the congresswoman who will be on television tomorrow night responding to president obama's state of the union message. she's flunking the history she reveres. michele bachmann speak out about the nation's founding but getting her facts wrong. new evidence in the case of that michigan public official pursuing a private vendetta against a gay college student. tonight he's a former official, and results of a formal investigation are in and they're startling. what we have learned about him today. the alleged tucson shooter in court today facing charges with a smile. a smile? we'll tell you what was behind the grin of this alleged mass murderer and update you on the condition of congresswoman gabrielle giffords. we begin as always, keeping them honest. with some startling new comments
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from michele bachmann, either a deliberate rewriting of our history or signs that she has a shaky grasp on our history. why does this matter? is it just an attack on a controversial lawmaker? we don't think so. lots of lawmakers probably don't know all they should about american history, tv show anchors as well. michele bachmann is repeatedly changing the history of the constitution. what she says matters, because people do listen to her, we think facts matter, particularly when it's facts about our founding as a nation. here's what she said, can you judge for yourself. speaking to a group called iowans for tax relief, congressman bachman seemed to whitewash over our painful history over slavery. she air brushed herself some new history. here she is talking about what people have faced throughout history when coming to america. >> it didn't matter the color of their skin. it didn't matter their language, it didn't matter their economic status.
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it didn't matter whether they descended from nobility or are of a higher class or a lower class. it made no difference, once you got here, we were all the same. >> as much as we wish that were the case, as good as that soundses, that's simply not true. whether she was talking about the founding of our nation or the experience of immigrants throughout our history that were not treated the same. irish immigrants didn't feel the same walking past store fronts with signs reading, irish need not apply. japanese americans didn't feel the same when they were placed in internment camps during world war ii. and enslaved africans didn't feel the same when they were brought here against their will. she mentioned slavery, but only to say it was something the founding fathers couldn't wait to get rid of. >> we know that was slavery that was still tolerated when the nation began. we know that was an evil and a scourge and a blot and a stain upon our history. but we also know that the very
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founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the united states. and i think it is high time that we recognize the contribution of our forebearers who worked tirelessly, men like john quincy adams, who would not rest until slavery was extinguished in the country. >> again, congresswoman bachman has her facts wrong, many of the founders owned slaves, george washington, thomas jefferson who wrote all men are created equal owned slaves. jefferson was conflicted about it, but others were not. and let's remember, the constitution itself as glorious a document as it is, establishes a slave as 3/5 of a person, as a political compromise. as for john quincy adams, ms. bachman is right, he was a tireless campaigner against slavery. but he was not a founding father as she implied. he died years before emancipation and the civil war. this is not the first time she's gotten the facts wrong or invented her own facts. just recently on 360, she claimed president obama's trip
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to asia would cost $200 million a day. we showed how that report was completely unfounded, tracing it to an unnamed indian official reported by a foreign news service. plenty of other examples, we focus on this tonight, not just because she's going to be speak tomorrow night, but because we believe facts matter, particularly where our history is concerned. one of the many things that makes this country great is we are able to examine our best, we are at our best when we learn from the past. rewriting history doesn't do anyone any good. it doesn't honor our history. and it certainly doesn't help us learn about ourselves. we invited congresswoman bachman on the program tonight. she declined. we asked her for a statement that may explain her comments, she never responded. we're joined by susan molinari, paul begala and eddie glaude, jr. from princeton university. professor, what do you make of her comments. is this a whitewashing of history? >> in part i think it is. what it suggests is that she
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lacks a little nuance to put it gently. we do know that there was debate among the founding fathers about slavery. some opposed slavery outright, others were indifferent. what happened as a result of the debate wasn't resolution, but as you mentioned at the top of the piece was compromise. the 3/5 compromise and also the fugitive slave clause, which allowed slave owners to retrieve their escaped property. what i think she would have been better equipped to do is appeal to a different tradition, a tradition of americans who sought to correct the contradictions around our democratic prince peoples evident in our practice. that is the abolitionist movement in the 1830s. she should have invoked frederick douglass, sojourner
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truth, those who laid down their lives in interesting sorts of ways. i have a strange suspicion that michele bachmann would label them unamerican or terrorists. >> does this matter? comments like this, does it matter? >> it's a good news/bad news thing. there are some in her party who will appreciate this. maybe she can win the republican nomination. bad news is, she probably can't win, "who's smarter than a fifth grader." she is running at a fringe. you know, her party has a lot of terribly bright people, we just saw rudy giuliani, interviewed by piers morgan. there's a fringe of her party who wants to go back to the days of the no nothings. they were bitterly prejudiced against catholics, jews, african-americans and almost anyone else they could think of. i'm not saying that's what she is, i'm saying there's a strain in her party that says, i've got my mind made up, don't confuse me with the facts. >> susan, do facts matter in this case? >> of course, facts matter.
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michele bachmann is one individual in the republican party. there's -- as paul has said -- there's many great wonderful spokespeople for the republican party. i think what michele bachmann was trying to say was to look more positively toward our history, and the history of the united states. i don't think she meant anything negative about it. i don't quite understand why it's such a big deal right now, when i thought we were here to discuss the state of the union speech. but i guess we decided to change our mind. i'm not really quite prepared to discuss why she said what she said or what it's impact was. that's not what i thought we were going to discuss this evening. >> why do you think she's decided to make her own response to the state of the union speech. >> i'm not really sure why she decided to make her own state of the union speech. she's always been active, a vocal spokesperson for her beliefs and the tea party, clearly as you know, paul ryan, the new chairman of the budget committee, and someone who is considered very conservative, and very proactive, when it
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comes to reducing the deficit. and is quite a fiscal hawk when he was in the minority and now pledges to be in the majority, as a spokesperson chosen by the republican party and the republican party leadership to lay the vision that the republican party has in terms of cutting spending, reducing the deficit and restoring fiscal discipline to our nation. >> does it make sense for michele bachmann to have her own response out there? >> for ms. bachman, honestly, i know i was making fun of her before. i think it's helpful for her, but i don't think it's helpful for the republican party for the reasons susan states. and maybe not so much for the democrats. guys like me, we go for the glittery sharp object out there and forget it's a fishing lure and we get hooked. we get distracted by michele bachmann when we should be focusing on paul ryan. he is the chairman of the budget committee now. he does have a blue plan that would privatize social security,
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turn medicare into a voucher program. cut taxes on the rich, and raise taxes on everybody between 20,000 a year. it hammers the middle class, creams the poor and helps the rich. that's the ryan plan. i do fear we will get distracted by michelle back man, she's a little more colorful -- >> probably what we should be talking about is what the president of the united states plans to do to reduce the deficit. it's gone up by $2 trillion since the last state of the union, and talk about jobs. unemployment has gone up since the last state of the union. i think that's probably the discussion that the american people want to hear, and are anxious to see the solutions that the president of the united states is going to put forward in order to change the direction of the nation. >> paul, what do you want to hear from the president? >> jobs, jobs, jobs. let me tell you, i know -- i'll have to be covering it and analyzing it for cnn, so i can't do it. but i want a drinking game where every time he says the word jobs i get to take a drink. every time he says
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competitiveness, i get to throwup. george bush had an initiative for competitiveness for his state of the union in 2006 and it didn't do us any good. i've never seen the country more focused on one need, and that is jobs. and if he's dancing around either with euphemisms like american competitiveness or ignoring jobs, which i can't imagine -- i think that's where he needs to be, i'm going to talk about the future, and i'm going to talk about jobs. and we'll let ms. bachman talk about the past and mr. ryan talk about privatizing social security. >> i think there's a difference between the two political parties that we're going to have a year-long discussion on, how do we get to those jobs? there is a great divide in the nation right now, between those who want to cut the deficit and reduce the debt, in order to make us more competitive. and those who want to create government investments in order to create those jobs. and i think that is going to be the defining difference between the two political parties we have moving forward. >> we have to leave it there. let us know in the live chat what you think.
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coming up next, remember that assistant attorney general in michigan fired for harassing and attacking online a gay college student? his name is andrew shirvell. he's been fired already, but startling new information about what his boss really knew. and new information that says he wasn't telling the truth when he appeared on this program. we're keeping them honest. jared lee loughner smiling in court today, laughing to himself, we're told. he entered his plea on murder charges. disturbing reports on his demeanor. we'll talk with ted rowlands who was in the courtroom. [ coughing ] [ male announcer ] got a cold? [ sniffles ] [ male announcer ] not sure what to take?
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new information tonight in a story we've been keeping them honest on from the beginning. information confirming our reporting that a public law enforcement official was conducting a private vendetta and more. he was doing it in part on taxpayer time, not just exercising his first amendment rights as he and his boss the attorney general contended at the time. we're talking about andrew shirvell. at the time he came on the program, he was a michigan state assistant attorney general. he's since been fired over his fixation on a young gay college student at the university of michigan. shirvell said chris armstrong had a radical homosexual agenda, and created an entire blog
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online attacking the guy. making up all sorts of lies about him, allegations, unfounded stories. this is a screen shot of one blog posting, it has a picture of the student with a nazi insignia in the rainbow flag with the word resign. now, there's months and months of postings like this from shirvell about armstrong. he calls the college students a nazi-like recruiter for the cult that is homosexuality. he even called him satan's representative on the student assembly. that's a quote. in addition, he's shouted down armstrong in public and appeared outside his home at 1:30 in the morning videotaping and then called the police. since then he's been fired. his boss has been superseded as attorney general. tonight we got ahold of the attorney general's office in michigan on their position on the whole affair. i want to let you know what mr. shirvell said in his own defense and what attorney cox said on
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this situation. i gotta ask you, you're a state official. this is a college student. what are you doing? >> well, anderson basically, if you've been involved in political campaigns before, you know all sorts of stuff happens, this is just another attack bringing awareness to what chris really stands for. >> this is not some national figure, this is a guy who's running a student counsel. >> well, as a private citizen and as a university of michigan alum i care, because this is my university. i wasn't the only person to criticize chris. in fact, long before i started the blog a couple weeks before that, the alliance defense fund a well-known christian foundation put out an alert about chris. so i'm not the only person that has criticized chris, and i'm not the first person to criticize chris. >> you are the only person running this blog which is putting nazi swastikas on this guy. you're a grown adult.
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does that seem appropriate to you? >> like i said this is a political campaign. this is nothing personal against chris. >> what do you mean it's nothing personal? >> i don't know chris -- >> you're videotaping outside his house, you're shouting him down at public events. you're calling him satan's representative on the student counsel. you're attacking his parents, his friends parents. you can't say it's not personal. >> chris, in any political campaign, you have to raise awareness and issues, and that's one way of doing it is by protesting. >> it was bizarre to say the least. i should mention, mr. shirvell is not involved in a political campaign, he's not running for anything, nor is this student, chris armstrong. he's already student body president. when we had mr. shirvell's boss on the show, he downplayed any overlay with his job in a public capacity. >> first and foremost, mr.
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shirvel, his job, he does it well from 8:30 to 5:00 very well. him blogging is not impacting the mission of the office. here in america, we have this thing called the first amendment, which allows people to express what they think. and engage in political and social speech. >> so that's the backdrop, shirvell thinks he's exercising his right as a private citizen to enter the political fray, even though his actions, which got him barred from the university campus were considered harassment. his boss is saying there's nothing he can do because of the first amendment. shirvell verbally assaulted a supervisor at work, violated policy, and properly contacted a student's employer, engaged in a reckless conduct and refused to alter it and more. the report concludes that shirvell used state resources to make some of these poisonous postings on his blog and facebook and misled investigators. quoting from the report "based on the evidence, we did not
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believe that assistant attorney general shirvell was being truthful about this issue. the report also says he was not truthful when he told us he was merely protesting when he was videotaping outsidearm strong's house at 1:30 in the morning." we wanted to invite shirvell back on 360, but neither he nor his lawyer returned our calls. we spoke with his former boss who told us supervisors did not report on shirvell's harassment. using the attorney general's office resources. he had nothing more to say and would not be issuing a statement on it. joining us now is debra gordon, attorney for chris armstrong. and jeffrey toobin cnn contributor. debra, mike cox says he didn't know about all these past incidents involving shirvell until after the fact. does that make any sense to you given their findings in this report? >> no, it makes no sense at all. if you look at this guy, he has a lengthy history, even
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predating his time with the attorney general's office. andrew shirvell was arrested for assault and battery in 2001 for spitting on two people. he has a history of going after log cabin republicans with despicable disgusting e-mails, he had a drunk driving conviction. now let's fast forward to the time he gets to the attorney general's office. it's you absolutely clear from a review of his state-owned computer that he spent a great deal of time at work stalking chris armstrong and others, creating his ugly hate speech that he sent around. moreover, as you mentioned a moment ago, he was involved in apparently a horrible meltdown in august of 2010, so much so that a couple of the legal secretaries were terrified and put it in writing that they've never seen such conduct in all their time with the office. >> it seems -- given all what you said, it does seem hard to believe that the attorney general would come on this program and say, well, all of this is new information to me. i didn't know about any of this, and he hasn't had any prior
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problems, essentially. >> it seems extremely odd. i'm not saying, perhaps he came on here without checking, i suppose that's remotely possible. it doesn't seem logical, i don't know. i do know that his investigators did a heck of a job investigating this guy now. we do have the total picture i believe. having said that, no, he had a trail at the attorney general's office. he was up on facebook obviously very public place to be with hate speech early in 2010 leading right up to the time of your show, the blog was up there. the first amendment has been thrown around a lot in this case and it's really offensive. they're hiding behind the first amendment. this is not first amendment protected speech. >> i want to bring in jeff toobin. it's pretty shocking it seems what it took to get fired from the attorney general's office in the state of michigan. >> right. and the backdrop we haven't mentioned so far, shirvell was a campaign volunteer for mike cox, >> we have a record of the
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checks -- >> right. not a volunteer, i misspoke. he was a volunteer and then a paid staffer. so the question here is, did cox protect shirvell because he was a political ally? i don't know what you can call shirvell's politics, they're too weird to be called anything at all. mike cox is a conservative republican who has not been supportive of gay rights, shirvell obviously has this weird obsession with gay rights. i think the synergy there is the most troubling aspect of it. the question is, was cox protecting shirvell or was he ignorant of all the craziness that was going on in his office? >> in defense of the attorney general, it's a big office, was it possible he wasn't informed that one of his assistant attorney generals was screaming and threatening a supervisor? >> anything's possible. but certainly you would think -- you use ei used to work in a
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government lawyer's office, that sort of craziness is pretty unusual. and the boss would generally be informed of misconduct of that magnitude. can i say for sure that cox knew? i can't. >> i want to play for you some of what mike cox said in his interview. >> the supreme court, both the united states supreme court in 1995, in a case called the u.s. versus treasury employees said that civil service employees in the federal system and by extension in the state system have free -- first amendment rights outside of work, as long as it doesn't impact their performance at their job. >> and you already referred to that and said you don't buy that. in terms of -- >> i never bought it. i've always thought it was absurd, this is not first amendment speech. it's not about politics, it's not even about homosexuality per se. it's about going after particular individuals in order to try to ruin their lives. that's what it's about. that's clearly actionable in civil court.
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it's clearly disruptive to the attorney general's office. >> what do you want now? are you pursuing legal action against him? >> yeah. >> i know you're trying to get him disbarred, right? >> yes, we are. >> where does that stand? >> clearly, in my opinion, he should not have a license to practice law. he's running around out of control, i think he's a reckless person. i think he's dangerous to others. he's trying to harm other people's lives, he's got a license and he's used his license to try to get at people. we don't have time tonight to discuss in all the ways he's done that, but clearly he's done that. he needs to get counselling. number two, he could go a long way toward putting this thing back together to some extent by publicly retracting, and i've asked for a retraction, every one of his ridiculous, despicable lies about my client, my client's family and others. >> right, because i mean the stuff he said on his blog was completely unfounded. absolutely no proof, and completely offensive to chris
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armstrong in terms of what -- i'm not going to go into the details about what it said about chris armstrong, but he was clearly making stuff up without any proof. he's never backtracked from any of that, right? >> no. virtually every single entry was made up, literally. i'm not exaggerating that. virtually everything he said there is just created out of the mind of andrew shirvell. >> you want to set the record straight so when people google chris armstrong this doesn't come up? >> either shirvell has to set the record straight by retracting and apologizing, and trying to make this right if you possibly can. or we will have no other choice but to go to the court and have it done in a public forum. the record can't stand the way it is. coming up, accused tucson gunman jared lee loughner back in court today, smiling. there was a smile on his face just like in this mugshot we're told. we'll talk to ted rowlands who was in the courtroom.
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accused tucson gunman jared lee loughner smiled in court today, even apparently laughing to himself at one point. he plead guilty on three counts of attempted murder. we want to give you an update on congresswoman giffords. she's still in intensive care, fluid on her brain. can't start rehab until the drain is removed. doctors say she's doing some exercises in the icu, moving, sitting and standing. and she surprised them not needing as much help doing those things as they thought she might. still, though, it's a long road ahead. when she's ready to go to rehab from the icu, the rehab is expected to take up to six months. we mentioned loughner in court today. his lawyer's name is judy clark. well respected attorney who has a history of taking on cases that seem untouchable.
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she took on the unabomber, ted ka kaczynski, the oklahoma city bomber and susan smith, remember her, the woman who drowned her own kids in 1994. smith and kaczynski were spared the death penalty, as was eric robert rudolph, the olympic park bomber. joining me live, sunny hostin from our sister network trutv. and outside the courthouse, ted rowlands. ted, he was smiling in court today? >> he was smiling when he entered court? >> it was about a 15 minute hearing in total. after he sat down at the desk with his attorney, he seemed to chuckle a little bit, and he would look around and grin. once the judge took the bench, he seemed to be more focused and stared straight ahead. he didn't say anything at all during this hearing, unlike the last one. in fact those not guilty pleas you talked about, they were entered by the court at the request of judy clark.
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clearly setting the table for a possible insanity defense. >> in the courtroom drawing it looks like he has hair. is his hair growing back? >> absolutely. two weeks ago he was bald. his hair is growing back. he's also wearing glasses now, he was in shackles, both his legs and arms were shackled. noticeable hair growth over the last two weeks. he actually looked very different than the time he entered the courtroom two weeks ago. >> you think this is going to boil down to an insanity defense? >> absolutely. there's no question about it, she's going to seek an insanity defense -- >> it's not as easy as it used to be. >> absolutely. it's very rare that an insanity defense is successful. less than 1%. in less than 1% of the cases the insanity defense is successful. even if she does sort of use this insanity defense? will it be successful? probably not. >> even if you have emotional issues, mentally unstable, need
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counselling, it doesn't mean you're insane? >> that's right. the burden is on the defense to prove you were insane and you knew the difference between right and wrong. in this case, he apparently posted on his myspace page before these horrible crimes, saying to his friends i'm sorry, i apologize. that tells me he knew what he was doing wrong. that's going to tell a jury the same thing. >> what do you make of the attorney? i didn't realize there were national public defenders, sort of roving public defenders? >> that's right. well, she's a federal public defender, and often times on the other side of the u.s. attorney's office. i will say, if you are in a position like this, this is the attorney you want. she's been called a one-woman dream team. she's sort of quiet, she doesn't give interviews, pretty reclusive, those i've spoken to who know her say she's on the top of her game. best possible attorney he could have. >> do you think there will be a plea deal? >> i think she's probably trying to get the death penalty off the table. i think the government is going to seek the death penalty in a case like this.
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that's what she's trying to do right now. get that death penalty off the table and plead guilty to life in prison. >> it's interesting, the judge at this point is the from california, brought in because all the federal judges in arizona recused themselves because of the murder of john roll. is there any sense whether an actual trial would be held in arizona? >> yeah, well, at this point it came up today a little bit in terms of the change in venue, there's an early change. we're in phoenix today, right away, in tucson, every judge in tucson said i'm not going to hear his first court appearance. a judge in phoenix heard the first one a couple weeks ago, then he recused himself as did all the other federal judges in the state of arizona. they brought in a judge from san diego starting next hearing scheduled for march 9th, it's going to go back to tucson with this judge on the bench. loughner's attorney said she had no problem with that, going back to tucson, so they're getting closer to the crime scene, not further away.
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now, when a trial date is set will the defense go for a change in venue motion? absolutely possible. and if that happens, it could leave the state of arizona, possibly going to california or nevada. >> ted, appreciate the reporting. sunny hostin as well. you may not know this, but an estimated 1.5 million studentses are home schooled in america. in tonight's perry's principles, you're going to meet one of them considered a whiz kid. he wants to graduate college at the age of 16. >> like any typical team, steven stafford loves video games, unlike his peers, this 14-year-old is a sophomore at atlanta's morehouse college. >> morehouseman? >> teenager? >> what is it like to be a morehouse teenager? >> i've been doing this for a while now, so it's pretty much usual for me, normal.
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not that big of a deal. >> steven and his sister were home schooled by their mom when they showed early promise. >> when i was in kindergarten she had me reading second and third grade books. >> what you would do, on some level you accelerated your children's learning by not stop something. >> exactly. you have to be resourceful. you become the teacher, the administrator, have you to pull the resources together. have you to invest time in doing that. >> if you're not actively participating in their education in school, they're not going to succeed. ♪ >> you have been straddling this world of being a kid and being an adult. how do you feel about being in that world? >> when i was 7 years old i used to always hang out with 15, 16-year-olds. i'm used to people being older than i am, taller than i am. when i hang out with kids my
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age, can i socialize with them. i think it's pretty cool to be able to go back and forth with that. >> there's a social life we expect when we're in college. there's boys, girls, dreaming about your careers and families. what do you think about when you're in school? >> i think about getting the work done so i can come home and play. >> what about those critics who say you're just pushing your kids too hard, let them be a kid? >> we acknowledge that we have to develop the whole child, okay? a lot of times parents tend to focus more on the socialization than the intellectual. we let them grow at their own pace emotionally. >> when you're in school, are the students there still caught up in the fact that you're four to ten years younger than them? >> maybe the first day the class starts, but probably by the third or fourth day they really just calm down and get used to it. >> do they recognize that you
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may be able to help them with your homework? >> no, they ask me for help a lot. >> what do you think the best way for parents to support kids is? >> parents have to leave all options open. they can't just depend on the school system sometimes. in fact, the staffords understood that their child was special. they were not going to allow anyone to stop them from pulling a child's gifts out. so they home schooled. >> steve perry, thanks. >> thank you. don't mess with my "mad men" season five is going nowhere fast, frankly, i'm inconsolable about it. so we're putting the people responsible on tonight's "ridicu-list." and where keith olbermann may show up next. his departure, was it as sudden as it seemed? [ male announcer ] 95% of all americans aren't getting enough whole grain.
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keith olbermann's sudden exit from msnbc caught many people by surprise. viewers tuned in on friday, didn't expect to hear this. >> when i resigned from espn 13.5 years ago, i was literally given 30 seconds to say good-bye at the very end of my last
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edition of "sports center." i'm grateful i have a little more time to sign off here. regardless, this is the last edition of "countdown." >> more on why they parted ways and where olbermann may turn up next. joining me now by phone, bill carter, and here with me in the studio, colby hall. appreciate both of you being with us, bill. you've been on this from the beginning. you reported that msnbc has been preparing for an exit by olbermann for months. what can you tell us about it? >> the timing was a factor. they just decided he brought in new agents -- i think keith had a plan in place. i think it's obvious through his actions and his comments now, there's a plan in place. there's going to be another outlet for him as soon as the ending of this contract is settled. he has a period of six, nine months, something like that where he wasn't be able to work on tv. but there will be a move for him
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to make at the end of that. >> for a lot of people who don't follow this as minutely as some folks in the media do, what wasn't work out? he really defined that network. what wasn't work out? >> i think the cue de gras was his suspension last fall. we wrote at the time that was his waterloo. and it was, but in a different sort of way. what seems to be clear is that the relationship he had with management, and not just the management, but his cohorts and people who work for him had become untenable. it seems since fall when he was suspended, there was a situation where office politics weren't working and he fell on the wrong side of office politics. >> he sent out tweets today. one of them says my humble thanks to all friends of keith for the kind words. the reports of the death of my career are greatly exaggerated. is that his way of saying he's not going to go gentle into that good night even though it seems
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like he can't talk directly about what happened? >> exactly. anyone who thinks he's going quietly, doesn't know keith olbermann. i think he's sending a signal that he has a plan in place, and that people who are his fans should just wait it out, and he's going to come back. he's going to come back in some form, on the internet, on the radio, and i think he'll be on tv again. why wouldn't he? he was very successful. >> i talked to one person who said he believed he wanted to do something like the huffington post, some sort of online presence. bill, have you heard that? do you think that's true? >> yes, i think that's definitely true, he's allowed to do that right in a way. i'm sure he will be doing that in the shorter term. nbc won't be able to prevent that. in the longer term, he'll get tv offers, i guarantee. >> colby, with the name recognition he has, the following he has, i mean, he could set up a liberal blog that would have a guaranteed audience base? >> there's no question, he's got a very loyal following. and as david schuster said on
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this network on sunday, he was very touched and moved by the response he had when he was suspended. 250,000 people signed a petition. it would stand to reason he would see this as an opportunity to build up his own personality and develop his own presence on line. >> both comcast and nbc denied that their merger had anything to do with olbermann's departure. do you buy that? i heard even last summer, from folks in the industry saying comcast is not going to put up with this. >> everybody agreed that comcast would be very unlikely to put up with keith's behavior, let's say, and prima donna activities. i don't think it was coincidentally motivated. but i think it was their intention or desire that this get settled before they took over. because they knew, if this took place six months down the road if there was a blowup with keith like there was over the donation, it would look like a political move. and they didn't want that. they wanted it to be resolved ahead of time.
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nbc moved to get that done, they got it done right before comcast took over. >> i don't think it's fair to say comcast was responsible for this. i think as bill said, there's nothing that -- that's exactly what they don't want. i think it's more correct to say that the executives at nbc news are getting new owners, and the rules and standards that applied under nbc universal and ge no longer apply. they didn't want to have one more headache while they're trying to figure out what makes their new bosses tick. >> fascinating stuff. colby, i appreciate it. we'll continue to watch. bill carter, appreciate the reporting. thanks, bill. another round in the feud between jay leno and conan o'brien. one ivy league club named one of them man of the year. you may be surprised who. you may want to grab a martini before you hear the latest edition to the "ridicul-list." good night, expected.
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a lot more stories we're following tonight, isha sesay joins us with a 360 news bulletin. >> the dow is closing in on the 12,000 mark, a level it hasn't seen in two and a half years. blue chips adding 109 points today. a knife being retested in the amanda knox trial. amanda knox was convicted in 2009 of killing her roommate in italy. she was sentenced to 26 years in prison but she insists she's not guilty. knox is appealing the conviction.
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across the northeast, bitter cold to tell you about. in new york's east village, a car got covered in ice after an apparent water main break. temps at 6 degrees below zero in new york this morning. and 35 below in new hampshire. temperatures are expected to warm up tomorrow ahead of another winter storm later in the week. and anderson, jay leno will be honored as hasty pudding's man of the year at harvard university next month. according to the legendary theatrical group, the award is given to performers who have made a lasting and impressive contribution to the world of entertainment. i'm wondering what harvard alum conan o'brien has to say about this? something along the lines of, he can take his hasty pudding pot and -- >> we'll leave it at that. so, do you watch "mad men?" >> i'm ashamed to say i haven't seen it. i know all about it. >> what?
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i should have asked you this question before you got this job. had i known you didn't watch "mad men." >> was that a deal breaker? >> yeah, it could have been. it's all right, i'll give you the dvd's, you can catch up. >> perfect. thanks for my christmas gift. time now for the "ridicu-list" goes to amc and lion's gate. i love amc, they have another favorite show of mine, breaking bad. they also have mad men. amc has promised us a fifth season. they promised. the show's creator says he's dying to get back to work, but his contract expired he still doesn't have a deal because the network is working things out with lion's gate which apparently produces the show. come on, already. this is ridiculous. how long are we going to have wait for the smoke-filled martini-soaked perfection that is "mad men." >> we're getting married. i know it's a surprise, but
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she makes me very happy. >> well, let's get her in here. >> how exciting for you. >> i know, i can't believe it. >> wow! >> it's been going on a while. >> she's very beautiful. >> you know she reminds me of you? she has the same spark. >> oh, "mad men." matthew weiner said, the truth is, i don't even know what their plans are, he's talking about the companies. we have not started writing, everyone wants a piece of it now, and they're fighting over who's going to get the biggest chunk. it would be heartbreaking for me if they don't work it out. horrifying really. it would be a shame for fans if they never get a chance to see what great stuff we have planned for don and company. heartbreaking, horrifying? let me go on record here, it would be holding america hostage if this show doesn't come back for a fifth season. i said it. the creators are ready to rock, all because the producers and the network can't work it out? give me a break. "gimme a break" was on for six years.
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balky from "perfect strangers" was hurled into our living children for eight years. and "married with children" that seems to still be on the air somewhere. sure, "married with children" is no "mad men." but look at "the simpsons" they're still chugging away just fine. ♪ >> see, "mad men" is everywhere, and it should be. specifically it should be on tv soon. some of the blogs are saying we may have to wait until 2012 for a new season. 2012? i cannot wait a whole year to find out if don marries that secretary of his. what happens with joan and the baby, whether faye will spill all of don's secrets? and what about roger sterling. look, i have a soft spot for skinny gray-haired people. there's not a lot of work for folks like us, we need to stick
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together. amc, lion's gate, i'm serious, take a cue from snl and just fix it. >> when i wake up tomorrow morning, better be fixed. [ laughter ] >> how do we go about fixing specifically? >> take it one step at a time. identify the problem, fix it. identify another problem, fix it. repeat as necessary until it's all fixed. >> look, i mean it, amc and lion's gate, fix it. play nice, whatever you have to do just give us back our "mad men" and have a drink on us. in a business like ours, personal connections are so important. we use our american express open gold card to further those connections. last year we took dozens of trips using membership rewards points to meet with the farmers that grow our sweet potatoes and merchants that sell our product. we've gone from being in 5 stores to 7,500. booming is using points to make connections that grow your business.
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